Many have heard of Helen Keller, who at
the age of two years old became blind, mute
and deaf. She could not communicate with
anyone until five years later when Anne Sullivan
managed to 'reach' her through the sense
of touch. Later on in life, she had an article
published entitled "Three days to see".
In this article she outlined what things
she would like to see if she were granted
just three days of sight.
As can well be imagined, it was a thought
provoking article coming from such an eminent
blind woman. On the first day she said she
wanted to see friends. Day two she would
spend seeing nature. The third day she would
spend in her home city of New York watching
the busy city and the interaction of people.
When given the opportunity, we want to use
it to the utmost. She concluded it with these
judicious words: "I who am blind can
give one hint to those who see: use your
eyes as if tomorrow you were stricken blind."
Physical blindness however is not the only
loss of sight there is in life. We can lose
sight of so many things. Even of ourselves.
Even of others. Even of what life is all
They say that Sigmund Freud's favorite story
was about the sailor shipwrecked on an island.
He was seized by the natives, lifted on their
shoulders, carried to their rural community,
and set on a makeshift throne. Gradually
he learnt that it was their custom once each
year to make some man a king, king for a
year. He did not mind. In fact he liked it
until he discovered that at the end of his
year as a king, he would be banished to an
uninhabited island and basically starved
But the sailor was smart. He realized he
had one full year to make sure that the following
years will be secure. Since he was king,
his orders were followed without any discussion.
And so he put his carpenters to work making
boats, his planters to work transplanting
fruit trees to the island, farmers growing
crops, masons building houses. When his kinship
was over, he was relocated to the island
- but this time it was not a barren island
but an island full of abundance.
This is a allegory about life. We are all
kings here, kings for a while. We can take
advantage of our kingship and build something
safe and secure for the afterlife or we can
waste our kingship risking to find ourselves
in serious predicaments later on!
There was a man who loved gold. Then he inherited
a fortune. With joy he renovated his bedroom.
He put gold color wallpaper up, hung yellow
curtains, had a golden colored carpet and
yellow sheets and quilt. He even bought yellow
pajamas. But then he got sick and came down
with, of all things, yellow jaundice.
When the doctor came for an examination,
he was ushered in the 'golden' bedroom. He
stayed there a long while. When he came out,
the wife anxiously asked, "How is he?"
"I don't know," the doctor answered.
"I couldn't find him."
Indeed many people today are absolutely absorbed
and lost in a world of self-indulgence and
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
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